Google on Wednesday trained 190 Nigerian journalists on effective news gathering and news reporting tools.
Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa, said the Google Data Tools for Media Reporting training would ensure that stories pushed out are factual and credible.
Kola-Ogunlade said: “Today we are having our training for media people to help them improve their trade and ensure they utilise these google tools to push out verifiable stories.
“Today is not about certificate, not about ensuring that people have a lovely space, today is about ensuring that the stories that are coming out are those that are well informed.
“There is a lot of misinformation in the country and so Google needs to ensure that the stories pushed out by media houses can be verified.”
Kola-Ogunlade urged media personnel to be cautious as government was thinking about legislation to ensure that misinformation and fake news were curbed.
He said due to the work schedule of media personnel and the tendency for them to push out stories fast, the internet was a veritable tool for them to use in verifying their stories for facts.
He said: “If you are a media person, you need to write stories and push it out with data and this goes through processes, which should be verified.
“So to achieve the right stories that will be meaningful to your public is the main purpose of the training of the media people.
“Knowing these tools will also serve as a form of revenue generation for the media houses as it will pull traffic on their websites due to people seeking accurate stories.
“Today is also about bringing the media people into our world to perfect their work because when they succeed, Google and even the public will succeed.”
Kola-Ogunlade said the training would be a continuous one as long as the media people showed interest in what they are doing, adding that Google had trained over 600 people in 2018.
The Nigerian Editor, Africa Check, David Ajikobi, said misleading information could prevent people from seeking or finding appropriate information.
Ajikobi added that fake news was completely fictional, deliberate and intended to make profit.
He said: “If we have the right skills, right tools and do the right checking, our credibility will come back.”